SI FAQs

1. What is SI?
SI stands  for Supplemental Instruction. During the Fall of 2007, Barnard College implemented an SI program for the Introductory Biology sequence with support from a Howard Hughes Science Pipeline grant. SI is a program originally started at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Due to the tremendous success of the program, UMKC currently trains colleges and universities on how to implement the program at their institutions. SI is a peer-led instruction method designed to help students succeed in traditionally difficult courses. Teams of students who have successfully navigated the introductory course sequence are hired to serve as student leaders who offer weekly SI sessions and office hours.
 
2. For what courses is SI offered?
SI is currently offered for the Introductory Biology sequence,  BC1500 and BC1502. SI is also offered for BC2100 (Molecular and Mendelian Genetics).

3. How does supplemental instruction work?
Student leaders receive an intense two-day training session at the beginning of the  academic year in which they learn techniques for running weekly SI sessions.  The sessions are run like workshops in which interactive learning techniques are employed to help students learn course content and study skills.

There are two or three SI sessions corresponding to each lecture. For example, a Monday lecture would have 2 sessions on Monday and a Tuesday session affiliated with it. SI leaders design worksheets and an activity for each  session and students engage in a discussion with each other as they work together to answer questions from the worksheets. SI leaders are not there to spoon-feed answers. Instead, they work with students and guide them  to the answers by showing how to use the textbook or the class notes.

4. Where do the SI sessions take place? 
The location of SI leader's office hours and SI sessions vary.  The location of marathon sessions is subject to change and is announced prior to the event.

5. Why should I attend SI?
Supplemental Instruction is an optional program, but students that regularly attend SI sessions  see an improvement in their grades. Reviewing material at each session helps  cut down overall study time and helps lessen pre-exam anxieties. SI participants usually out-perform non-SI students on each exam. Also, recent statistics revealed that during  the 2009-2010 academic year, SI participants earned a higher percentage of A and B type grades as compared to non-SI participants.

6. Who should attend SI?
SI is open to all students enrolled in BC1500/1502 and BC2100.

7. How can I become an SI leader?
The SI leader application process begins in either April or November for positions open during the following semester. An application will become available online. All students that have successfully completed BC1500, BC1502, or BC2100 with a grade of B or better can apply to be an SI leader. Even students that have never attended an SI session are urged to apply.
 

For more information about SI, please visit the website for the International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City at http://www.umkc.edu/asm/si/index.shtml